Ziya Ziya and Kellen Ireland are the 2016 boys’ doubles champions for the Central California Conference after topping the No. 1 team in the bracket in Merced’s Colin Rabago and Adrian Vomeli, 6-2, 2-6, 6-4.
“That is my No. 1 doubles team… I mean, they are really good,” said Turlock head coach Jack Schneider. “They played really well, and they completed the tri-fecta. CCC singles, doubles and undefeated season. So proud of the boys.”
Ziya and Ireland were seeded as the No. 2 team in the bracket and really played up to their standards.
They won the opening round with a victory over Buhach Colony’s Jenzen Ballesil and Gabriel Moreno after a final of 6-0, 7-6 (7-3).
After winning their opening round match, Ziya and Ireland took it to Atwater’s doubles team of Eduardo Delgadillo and Gerardo Delgadillo after a final of 7-6 (7-5), 6-1.
“These two guys just played amazing the entire day,” said Schneider. “They could be playing singles since they are both so good, but they did what’s best for the team and dominated this year as a team.”
Their second win launched them into a semifinal meeting with Buhach’s Orlando Prado and Adrian Gomez and managed to topple them in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4.
Only the final match went into a third set for Ireland and Ziya but the best duo in the CCC still wasn’t fazed by the challenge. Merced turned the tables on Ziya and Ireland in the second set and won it 6-2 before finally concluding the third set.
“Ziya was being solid but had some things to work on as well and should help singles next year. But they are champions, can’t get any better than that,” said Schneider.
Both played just like champions in an intense third set that went back and forth and was set at 2-2.
Then Ziya and Ireland took a 4-2 lead before it was tied at 4-4.
On a deuce point, Kellen shot a laser down the line and expressed his enthusiasm with a nice roar afterwards.
“Soon as Kellen yelled ‘let’s go,’ we broke their spirit, but I told them we still want to make sure to finish them,” said Schneider.
Under pressure, Merced tried to fight their way back into the match but Turlock’s intensity could not be matched.
“Ziya was more relieved it looked like and Kellen was happy as well,” Schneider said. “The pressure cost Merced and our guys won near the end. I am just so proud of the boys, Kellen played amazing, flying all over the court and Ziya was fantastic as well.”
Pitman’s doubles team of Dennis Lawson and Alex Lat won their opening round match before losing in the second round to the Delgadillos.
The other two doubles team for Pitman fell in the opening round.
“All of our guys played well, they did the best they could despite facing some of the stiffest competition that this league has to offer,” said Pitman head coach Doug Reimers about facing the top seeds in the bracket. “It was a great experience for our sophomores and everybody who competed today.”